Review Mount Holyoke College Evaluation Criteria and Competencies

  • Review Evaluation Criteria. These criteria are used to rate performance under each of the Mount Holyoke College Competencies for the evaluation period.

Evaluation Criteria

Exceptional Performance consistently exceeds standards and expectations. Employee is viewed as a role model by others. Very few evaluations are expected to fall into this category of extraordinary performance.

Successful Performance consistently meets, and occasionally may exceed, the high expectations of the College. Most evaluations are expected to fall into this category of valued service to the College.

Needs Improvement Performance meets some, but not all, of the goals and objectives and high expectations of the College. Making acceptable progress with future training, coaching and experiences may be needed to raise performance to “Successful”. Evaluations in this category are expected to move up to successful or exceptional.

Unsatisfactory Performance is consistently below the high expectations of the College. Action plan is required to address performance deficiencies. Employees rated overall as unsatisfactory are in jeopardy of demotion, transfer or termination of employment.

  • Review the Mount Holyoke College Competencies. These are the college-wide behaviors and responsibilities from Mount Holyoke College’s Mission and Values statements that all employees are expected to exhibit. The definition and examples described below are intended as guidelines for understanding the spirit of these competencies.

Mount Holyoke College Competencies

Cooperation and Collaboration - Consider the following:

Willingly cooperates and works collaboratively toward solutions which generally benefit all involved parties; works cooperatively with others to accomplish College objectives. Understands the agendas and perspectives of others, recognizing and effectively balancing the interests and needs of one’s own work group with those of the College. Creates an atmosphere of valuing and accepting others.

Seeks the input of group members and encourages their participation.

Solicits input from others who are affected by plans or actions.

Demonstrates respect for the opinions and ideas of others.

Uses the most appropriate channels and means of communication within and between departments; readily shares information with others.

Directly confronts prejudicial behavior or comments.

Effectiveness/Efficiency - Consider the following:

Seeks the best method of approach; uses processes that result in effective outcomes without creating unnecessary work. Thoroughness in accomplishing tasks. Demonstrates a high level of dependability in all aspects of the job.

Utilizes processes to accomplish goals that minimize extraneous effort while ensuring high and quality results.

Completes all assigned tasks on time and with minimal errors.

Is dependable/reliable.

Evaluated work to be done and determines appropriate methods.

Ability to effectively evaluate work responsibilities and prioritize workload by focusing on the most critical elements of the job.

Ability to re-evaluate work responsibilities and prioritize workload by focusing on the most critical elements of the job.

Flexibility/Adaptability - Consider the following:

Changes behavioral style or method of approach when necessary to achieve a goal; adjusts style to needs of a situation. Responds to change with a positive attitude and a willingness to learn new ways to accomplish work and objectives.

Modifies a strongly held position in response to contrary evidence.

Sees the merits of differing positions or opposing viewpoints.

Adapts to change quickly.

Accommodates different personal styles that are effective in accomplishing desired outcome.

Initiative -- Consider the following:

Evaluates, selects and acts on various methods and strategies for solving problems and meeting objectives before being asked or required to do so; self-directed rather than passively complying with instructions or assignments. Generates novel and valuable ideas and uses these ideas to develop new or improved processes, methods, systems or services.

Does things before being asked or before the situation necessitates action (i.e., forced to by events).

Seeks information from many different sources before deciding on own approach.

Works to develop new approaches when problem-solving; seeking ideas or suggestions from others as appropriate.

Continually examines own thoughts, language and behaviors for unexamined assumptions and stereotypical responses.

Judgment/Decision Making - Consider the following:

Demonstrates the ability to make decisions authoritatively and wisely, renders judgments, takes actions or makes commitments, after adequately contemplating various available courses of action and the needs and values of others.

Refrains from jumping to conclusions based on no or minimal evidence; weighs and considers alternative available actions before selecting a method for accomplishing a task or project.

Proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation in a timely manner.

Looks at issues and opportunities from others’ viewpoints before making decisions.

Open Communication -- Consider the following:

Consciously uses the sense of hearing, attending to and fully comprehending what others are saying. Acts in a way that indicates understanding and accurate interpretation of others’ concerns, motives, feelings, strengths and limitations.

Asks open-ended questions that encourage others to give their points of view.

Keeps people appropriately informed and up-to-date.

Appropriately expresses one’s own opinion.

Understands both strengths and limitations of others.

Is attentive and responsive to nonverbal behavior.

Demonstrates ethical behavior and integrity.

Planning and Organizing - Consider the following:

Establishes a systematic course of action for self or others to assure accomplishment of a specific objective. Determines priorities and allocates time and resources effectively.

Develops or uses systems to organize and keep track of information (e.g., “to-do” lists, appointment calendars, follow-up file systems).

Sets priorities with an appropriate sense of what is most important.

Anticipates obstacles realistically when planning.

Professional/Technical/Procedural Expertise - Consider the following:

Acquires and uses technical/professional/procedural knowledge, skills and judgment to accomplish a result or to serve one’s constituents effectively.

Understands technical/procedural aspects of own job.

Makes self available to others to help solve professional/technical or procedural problems or issues.

Keeps up-to-date on the professional/technical or procedural aspects of the job.

Project Management -- Consider the following:

Establishes a course of action with appropriate milestones to accomplish project objective(s). Facilitates team in determining priorities and allocating time and resources effectively. Able to develop cooperation and teamwork while leading a group of people, working toward solutions which generally benefit all involved parties.

Allocates time and resources effectively and efficiently, removes barriers and redetermines priorities as situations change.

Maintains open lines of communication and ensures information is shared.

Ensures that all members of the group have the opportunity to contribute to the discussion or process.

Prudent Use of Resources -- Consider the following:

Demonstrates an awareness of methods and opportunities for cost containment and takes action to reduce or contain costs.

Procures less expensive supplies of equivalent quality.

Establishes systematic controls to track resource usage/containment.

Considers cost and efficiency when making decisions establishing or changing work procedures.

Considers cost effectiveness when making decisions about acquisition of tools/resources.

Effectively utilizes human resources available; sets priorities appropriately.

Safety, Security and Environmental Awareness - Consider the following:

Performs job in a manner that minimizes hazards to oneself, team members and students. Maintains a physical work environment that contributes to the well being of others.

Takes action to keep any area of the College clean, safe and secure.

Takes action to prevent or resolve safety or security hazards in own work area and within the College.

Helps team members to take appropriate safety precautions.

Service Orientation -- Consider the following:

Focuses one’s efforts on discovering and meeting the needs of students, parents, community members, etc., in a manner that provides satisfaction within the resources that can be made available.

Identifies the needs or expectations (i.e. benchmarking, surveys, one-on-one conversations, etc.) of all community members: students, parents, alumnae, faculty, and staff.

Develops and implements quality solutions with the goal of meeting or exceeding customer expectations.

Employees with Supervisory Responsibilities

Supervisors are also evaluated on Supervisory Competencies, which are specific behaviors and responsibilities expected from those who manage employees and departments.

Coaching -- Consider the following:

Works to improve the immediate performance of others and facilitates their skill development by providing clear, specific performance feedback, making or eliciting specific suggestions for improvement, in a manner that builds confidence and maintains self-esteem. Provides training and developmental opportunities.

Reinforces effective behaviors or results.

Clearly states actual performance compared to expected or desired performance.

Takes extra time to assist and provides specific, detailed follow-up.

Gives people assignments and training to develop their abilities.

Leadership/Stewardship - Consider the following:

Develops and uses effective strategies and interpersonal styles to influence and guide others toward the accomplishment of identified objectives and goals.

Seeks information and asks for suggestions.

Solicits the input of others who are affected by plans or actions.

Develops and uses positive approaches to influence others.

Actively promotes diversity and inclusion in the workforce and campus community.

Performance Management -- Consider the following:

Participates in all aspects of the performance management program in a proactive and constructive manner, including conducting performance planning, coaching and evaluation sessions.

Completes thorough performance evaluations in a timely manner.

Encourages communication and participation in all aspects of the performance management program.

Provides resources and/or training for employees.

Demonstrates concern for treating people fairly.

Additional questions to consider in preparing for performance evaluation conversations:

What are some strengths demonstrated during the performance period.

In what area(s) can performance be improved?

Identify learning needs, skills or abilities to develop.

Are there any barriers to effective work and/or job satisfaction?

Are there procedures/tasks that can be improved?

Prepare For and Conduct Evaluation Meeting

The performance management cycle concludes (and the next begins) with the evaluation meeting. Keep in mind, however, that at any time during the year, the supervisor and/or the employee can request a meeting to discuss and review the employee’s performance to date.

Since employees play an active role in planning and developing their performance, they should also be an integral part of the evaluation process and are expected to contribute to the evaluation discussion.

The Supervisor’s Role

To prepare for the evaluation meeting, as a supervisor you should:

  • Finalize the meeting date, time and place with your employee about two weeks ahead of the performance evaluation date.
  • Be sure to allow enough time for thorough discussion and to address employees’ questions/concerns.
  • Do not change the schedule or allow interruptions unless absolutely necessary. Changing the date or attending to other business during an evaluation meeting sends a negative message to the employee that the evaluation meeting is not important.
  • Realize that not taking an employee’s performance evaluation seriously negatively impacts employee morale.
  • Provide the employee with a blank copy of the Performance Evaluation Form so he/she can prepare for the meeting.
  • Review and finalize the documentation in the employee’s file as well as any other relevant documentation.
  • Seek input from others. Remember, documentation can come from others - peers, students, subordinates, “customers,” etc.
  • Complete the evaluation form.
  • Determine the employee’s strengths and development needs.
  • Consider department goals and objectives for upcoming year and impact on expectations of employee.

Why Supporting Statements?

Statements supporting your rating of each competency area are encouraged. These statements can indicate the method used to validate the evaluation rating. Validation methods include observation, demonstration, and testing. Examples include:

  • Observation: “Review of 10 prospective student applications indicates that assessment of students is routinely done in timely manner.”
  • Demonstration: “Mary has demonstrated to me that she is knowledgeable and competent in conducting interviews with prospective students.”
  • Testing: “John successfully completed the introductory spreadsheet course.”

Supporting statements can also include constructive feedback and/or compliments. Examples:

  • "The training session which Mary led in June was well organized and comprehensive.”
  • “When under stress, John sometimes fails to communicate in a sensitive, caring manner. He needs to be more tactful in his approach at these times.”

The Employee's Role

As an employee, you play a critical role in planning, developing and evaluating performance and have a responsibility to prepare for the evaluation meeting as well. To get ready, you should:

  • Review the Performance Evaluation form and be prepared to discuss:
  • performance and behavior relative to the Competencies.
  • achievement of your personal development plan.
  • achievement of your work plan.
  • Review and summarize your documentation.

Determine strengths and development needs.

The evaluation meeting is an opportunity for open, two-way communication, setting the stage for mutual agreement, problem solving and goal setting.

This discussion is based on shared perspectives with the supervisor asking open-ended questions while listening to the employee’s issues, problems, and feelings. The purpose of a two-way conversation, with each side contributing his/her perspective, is to support the following outcomes:

To contribute to the success of the individual, department, and the College.

  • To add to the understanding of what needs to change.
  • To gain enthusiasm for the future.
  • To share an appreciation for the evaluation process.

During the discussion, cite specific examples describing behavior to support each performance area. The examples include positive and successful contributions as well as difficulties.

The meeting can be divided into two parts:

  • Evaluating past performance
  • Developing future performance (work plan/development plan)

Evaluating Past Performance

The first part of the meeting should focus on evaluating the employee’s performance for the just completed evaluation period based on the twelve Competencies (and three Supervisory Competencies where appropriate).

Discuss the overall performance evaluation, identify strengths and weaknesses, and discuss development opportunities.

If the supervisor and employee do not agree, the supervisor may agree to revise the evaluation based on the employee’s justification or documentation of performance. Try to reach an agreement. (If the supervisor has been coaching and providing feedback throughout the year, the supervisor should be able to avoid any disagreement or surprises.) If, however, an agreement cannot be reached, the supervisor must decide on the appropriate evaluation rating. The employee can refer the situation to the next level of management if he/she feels the evaluation in unfair or unjust. Although Human Resources is always available in an advisory capacity, every attempt should be made to resolve the disagreement within the department.

Set Goals for Future Performance

The second part of the evaluation meeting is devoted to setting goals for future performance.

The supervisor and the employee should use this meeting to prepare goals and a new personal development plan for the next year (refer to Prepare a Work Plan and Prepare a Development Plan).

At this point, not only have you completed the performance management cycle for the period just ending, but you have also begun the performance planning phase of the next cycle.

What if the employee is not meeting standards at the time of the performance evaluation? In most instances, working with a poor performer throughout the year by providing feedback and discussing development needs, will result in successful performance.

In some cases, coaching and feedback will not result in successful performance. The supervisor will need to create a performance improvement plan and use the progressive disciplinary process to document performance deficiencies.

Next Steps

Once the supervisor and the employee complete the performance evaluation and have agreed to a work and development plan for the upcoming year:

  • The supervisor and the employee sign and date the form.
  • The supervisor will photocopy the work and development plan section and give a copy to the employee and keep a copy in the employee’s file.
  • The supervisor will send the form to his/her department head for review. All forms will then be shared with the appropriate division manager before being sent to the Human Resources Department.
  • The supervisor will follow up on any of the suggestions or issues raised in the Employee Comments section.